Warrnambool Aus Music Festival suggests permanent stage for foreshore

A proposal for a permanent stage for music and community events on Warrnambool’s foreshore has been submitted to council.

The idea comes from the Warrnambool Aus Music Festival committee, which pitched it as a community asset and potential “home base” for the festival.

The stage is proposed to be built near the carnival site on Pertobe Road, adjacent to the Warrnambool Surf Lifesaving Club.

SOUNDS OF THE SEA: Warrnambool Aus Music Festival committee members Rod Brugman and Russ Goodear have proposed a permanent stage be constructed along the foreshore. Picture: Rob Gunstone

SOUNDS OF THE SEA: Warrnambool Aus Music Festival committee members Rod Brugman and Russ Goodear have proposed a permanent stage be constructed along the foreshore. Picture: Rob Gunstone

Dubbed the Warrnambool Music Bowl, it was one of six submissions made on Warrnambool City Council’s 2017-2021 plan earlier this month, but was “not identified as a priority”.

Cr Peter Hulin praised the idea, saying “young people would love that”.

The council’s director of corporate strategies Peter Utri said that “given the nature of the project, the proposed location and the unknown cost of the proposal, it has been referred by council to the 2018-2019 budget process”.

“Such a proposal would require extensive public consultation and an investigation into the cost and demand for such a structure,” Mr Utri said.

“As part of the budget process, it will be judged against the many other potential projects seeking funding for the 2018-2019 financial year. While the idea of a permanent outdoor performing arts venue has been talked about in the community previously, this is the first time that a proposal such as this will be assessed by council.”

Aus Music Festival director Russ Goodear said “a permanent, all-year-round, outdoor stage on the site of the seaside carnival” had plenty of applications, and the “foreshore/Lake Pertobe area is the ideal location”.

“This is a place where people gather for events, fun and relaxation (and) it is a ‘playground’ for children, youth and adults, and our tourists,” Goodear said.

“This will provide a wonderful entertainment venue for the local community and tourists.”

He said the stage could be used for a wide range of community events, including the Aus Musical Festival, markets, fun runs, fundraisers, youth concerts, Wunta, theatre performances and more.

“The site has some of the required infrastructure, including toilets and power, (and) given this is not a residential area it is anticipated that noise levels will not be a major issue,” Goodear said.

He said the Aus Music Festival was considering running a series of concerts on the site using a mobile stage to test the location.

The festival is returning in a new format consisting of individual concerts spread across the year to help raise funds for a larger event in future years. The first event – a Back To The Bay gig – will be held next month.

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